Wasatch Front

Wasatch Front

The Wasatch Front is an urban area in the north-central part of the U.S. state of Utah. It consists of a chain of cities and towns stretched along the Wasatch Range from approximately Santaquin in the south to Brigham City in the north. Roughly 80% of Utah's population resides in this region.


The Wasatch Front is long and narrow. To the east, the Wasatch Mountains rise abruptly several thousand feet above the valley floors, climbing to their highest elevation of 11,752 feet (3,582 m) at Mount Timpanogos (bordering Utah Valley). The area's western boundary is formed by Utah Lake in Utah County, the Oquirrh Mountains in Salt Lake County, and the Great Salt Lake in northwestern Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, and southeastern Box Elder Counties. The combined population of the five Wasatch Front Counties totals 2,051,058 according to the 2007 Census [ [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=04000US49&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-T1-R&-ds_name=PEP_2007_EST&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-mt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_GCTPH1R_ST7S&-format=ST-2S&-_sse=on] . "U.S. Census Bureau". Retrieved on 06-15-2008.]

Though most residents of the area live between Ogden and Provo (a distance of 80 miles or 128 km), which includes Salt Lake proper, the fullest built-out extent of the Wasatch Front is 120 miles (193 km) long and an average of 5 miles (8 km) wide. Along its length, the Wasatch Front never exceeds a width of approximately 18 miles (29 km) because of the natural barriers of lakes and mountains.

Population centers

Several downtown and commercial districts encompass the Wasatch Front. The largest is Salt Lake City at the middle of the urban area. Utah Valley (south of the Salt Lake area) and the Davis-Weber Ogden-Clearfield region (north of Salt Lake) are the other major population centers.

Nearly all of the cities within the region are connected by continuous suburban development. Cumulative population estimates of Brigham City, Weber County, Davis County, Salt Lake County, and Utah County for 2006 show that the Wasatch Front has an estimated population of 2,050,092 residents, or 80% of Utah's estimated 2006 population of 2,550,063 [ [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFPopulation?_event=Search&geo_id=16000US4908460&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US49%7C16000US4908460&_street=&_county=&_cityTown=&_state=04000US49&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=geoSelect&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=160&_submenuId=population_0&ds_name=null&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry= Utah Population Finder] ]


Transportation issues have been complicated by the narrow north-south orientation of the valley, constrained by the natural barriers on both sides, and the rapid growth of the region.

The primary modes of transport for the area are Interstate 15 and U.S. Route 89, both of which run down its center from north to south for the full length of about 120 miles. Other interstates and highways provide transportation routes to local areas within the front. Such transportation routes include Interstate 84 in the Ogden area, Interstate 80 running east-west through Salt Lake, Interstate 215 circling the inner Salt Lake Valley, Bangerter Highway (State Route 154) and State Route 201 to the west of Salt Lake, U.S. Route 189 through Provo, and U.S. Route 6 in southern Utah County. [ [http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&addtohistory=&searchtab=home&formtype=address&pop

The Utah Transit Authority provides bus and light rail service to most of the urban areas within the front. Additionally, a double-decker commuter rail line FrontRunner [ [http://www.rideuta.com/projects/commuterRail/default.aspx FrontRunner official page] ] , the Legacy Parkway project [ [http://www.udot.utah.gov/legacy/ Utah Department of Transportation Legacy Parkway page] ] , and the Mountain View Corridor [ [http://www.udot.utah.gov/mountainview/ Utah Department of Transportation Mountain View Corridor page] ] are planned or under construction to accommodate passenger traffic between Ogden and Provo.

Salt Lake City International Airport serves as the primary airport for the region.

Growth and land use

Because of the geographical barriers to the east and west, much of the land along the Wasatch Front has been developed. The region has experienced considerable growth since the 1950s, with its population increasing 308% from 492,374 to 2,009,595. Much of the remaining undeveloped land is rapidly being developed, and local governments have grappled with problems of urban sprawl and other land-use concerns.

Cities lying on the other side of the Wasatch Range, including Morgan, Park City, and Heber, are sometimes referred to as the "Wasatch Back" and have recently shared in the rapid growth of the region.

ee also

*2003 Utah snowstorm
*Wasatch Back
*Wasatch Fault
*Ogden-Clearfield metropolitan area
*Provo-Orem metropolitan area
*Salt Lake City metropolitan area


External links

* [http://www.utahcityguide.com/ Wasatch Front City Guide]
* [http://www.rideuta.com/ UTA official site]
* [http://www.udot.utah.gov/main/f?p=100:1:3412406233033604854::NO::T,V:1%2C Utah Department of Transportation]

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